I have repented… or maybe I’ve accepted my addiction… or perhaps it’s recognizing my bias… Whatever. After a very serious and concerted effort to leave the Apple techosystem, I have ceased the struggle and allowed the Apple gravity well to draw me back into it’s embrace.
The migration away from Apple products began about a year and a half ago. I stopped using iWork applications to create documents and switched to Google Apps or LibreOffice (OpenOffice) for most uses. Projects that had been created with Pages or Numbers I began converting to either .doc or .pdf depending on whether they were a static document or I thought I’d need to edit them in the future. Keynote files were converted to .ppt (Google Presentation still is not robust enough to replace Power Point or Keynote in my opinion). While I had ceased to use as many Apple applications as I could, I was still tied to the hardware (since the computer was still working, I couldn’t justify buying a new one).
The transfer almost completely away from Apple occurred six months ago when the hard drive in my almost six-year-old iMac died. I began to search for a new computer. After taking stock of what I needed and wanted my new machine to be able to do, I made my purchase. It happened to be a Windows 8 machine.
Unlike many others the Metro interface did not initially turn me off. I found the OS to be different, but I dove in learning the layout and function. Over the next couple week, however, I decided that Windows 8 is a schizophrenic OS. Metro and Desktop are two completely different operating systems running in tandem…and they don’t talk well with each other. Perhaps with a tablet or touch-screen PC the user experience might be different, but with a standard point-and-click mouse setup, I found it cumbersome and clunky. I eventually installed an app which completely by-passed Metro and reinstated a classic start menu and a Windows 7 like functionality.
Shifting gears slightly I want to add that I love the hardware of my purchased machine. The power, speed, graphic clarity, etc. are awesome. Over time, however, my constant wrestling with the OS simply increased my frustration. I began looking at replacing the OS with Linux, but found that Open Source development hadn’t yet caught up to the hardware in my machine. So I continued to slog it out, trying to make the best of it, but looking back longingly at my Apple days and wondering if my gripes were really that serious after all.
One day not long ago my wife (who’s desktop computer – running Linux – is almost as old as my dead iMac) stated that there were somethings which her machine just couldn’t do and expressed a desire to purchase a Windows laptop. A couple days later, my metaphorical hat in hand, I approached her with a deal. If we purchased a refurbished Macbook Pro, I’d trade her my 18″ six-month-old Windows laptop for the refurbished (i.e. older) 13″ (i.e. smaller) Apple machine.
And so, I am once again in the clutches of Apple Inc. – and I’m okay with this.